SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Milk Of The Tree: An Anthology Of Female Vocal Folk & Singer-Songwriters 1966-1973 Various Artists CD Set


4 hours and 60 tracks on this brilliant new compilation of one of the greatest era’s of music of the 20th century. As much a social shift as well as a musical one, prior to the mid-sixties you just didn’t hear that much solo female output, especially on the radio, in retrospect it was a largely male dominated pop world.

However with womens liberation gaining (quite rightly) swift progress in 1966 new voices started to make themselves heard. From Greenwich Village coffee houses to laid back canyons in L.A. came artists who would become household names led by Joan Baez, Jackie DeShannon, Melanie, Laura Nyro, Linda Ronstadt and Janis Ian, all included here and to name just a few. Of course it wasn’t just the USA producing new artists our homegrown talent, again included here and again to name just a few included the likes of Beverley Martin, Marianne Faithfull, Sandy Denny, Bridget St. John and Mary Hopkin. This release concentrates on rarer tracks and not the over compiled that is usual. Its hard to pick one highlight from another but personally i’d mention Laura Nyro ‘Upstairs By A Chinese Lamp’ Jackie DeShannon ‘Come And Stay With Me’ (a hit for the aforementioned Marianne Faithfull) Sandy Denny ‘ Late November’ and Buffy Sainte Marie ‘ The Dream Tree’. Buffy ive learnt over the years is a ‘marmite’ artist people either love or loathe her voice, I have everything she’s ever recorded and her lyrics never fail to move me, so I guess you can gather what camp I’m in! Along with all the solo offerings we are also treated to bands such as Stone Poneys, Mellow Candle, Pentangle, Spirogyra, Ithaca and Trees, wonderful. Also some tracks appear for the first time like the female American duo based in London with the wonderful monicker of Emily Muff! This compilation has something for everyone, it may introduce the young to music they weren’t around to hear at the time and equally for those of us that were it’ll get the synapses firing and bring back some memories of a golden era. When did you last here Principal Edwards Magic Theatre?! 3 CD’s a 44 page booklet full of info and great sound. Grapefruit Records show again how good they are at compiling interesting music collections to whet our musical tastebuds. Lets hear it for the girls.   For more information go to

Til next time……..Colin      


Andy Qunta… Great review, Colin! Thanks!

Now over 1000 members on the SMART Facebook page.

A big thank you to Nick Prince for bringing this to our attention and posting these images on the Facebook page.

Alan Esdaile… WOW! Thanks Nick and thank everyone for their support. A number of people help to keep this page interesting and couldn’t do it without them. Don’t forget still need more old group photos and music related cuttings, especially ones from the Hastings area.

Ernest Ballard… Nice one x

Nick Prince… It’s one great page you have created Alan and I couldn’t think of anyone more qualified to successfully start and run such a page than your goodself.. For me the music, local groups, retro talk, film and cinema stuff, pier bits and general chit chat of 60’s, 70’s and 80’s nostalgia successfully goes hand in hand to make it such a great page. Something for everyone that was in the area during those decades and of course further afield… Posts from SMART are regularly shared to three of my pages and that is how broad an appeal it has….

Mick O’Dowd… Well done Alan!

Jon McCallion… Well done Alan.

Paul Dove… Well Done Alan, you keep it real , will be there fri , 👊 🎹 🎤🎸

Dave Nattress… For so long I was trying to discover the names of the very many bands that played the pier – so many of which I saw, as well as getting back to all the other local gigs and venues. Also I was wanting to re-visit old band-mates, local names, the musical competition back in the day, and just to re-live so many local connections, music shops, clothes shops, DJ’s, pubs, clubs, characters, and this site has enabled all of that. It’s compulsive stuff. Really ticked all the boxes and brought the great memories back. Probably best though, the pier on a wet, dark, cold winter’s night, the floor of the bar, ankle deep in Whitbread Tankard bitter, the cold and draughty and actually quite grim old ballroom – great days.

The Sons Of Man, The Lonely Ones, Cathy McGowan Show featuring the Equals. Witch Doctor. 1965


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… the Equals with Eddie Grant, appeared on the Cathy McGowan Show one Sunday at the Witch Doctor. For some unknown reason, I thought this had been in the afternoon, but the advert tells otherwise. Although the Equals are not billed, they appeared as Guests.

Barry M Dyke….  remember not seeing Eddie Grant and the Equals twice. Apparently Mr. Grant was too idle to travel to Hastings. Pre booked ticket money was, eventually, refunded.

Mick Knights… I danced my socks of at the Cathy McGowan show, but failed to get a ticket for Ready Steady Go. Not bitter or anything!!!!

Yvonne Cleland… I saw Eddy Grant on the pier and it was brilliant!

Mick O’Dowd… Eddie owned a flay in Devonshire Place in the late 70’s as I was introduced to him by a guy who was his plugger/confidente when I worked at Bonitas. Remember the Sunday Club gig.

Alan Esdaile…  I saw The Equals on Hastings Pier, I think once was an allnighter and the other time was The Sunday Club and they were excellent.

Lynn Graham… Those were the days. The Witch Doctor was my second home:) not that my mum knew of course! Hehe.

Trevor Spears… The Lonely ones excellent band!

Website Update

Website Update

As you can see the website has just been updated.

As more people source the internet on their mobile phones, the old site was difficult to view and should now be more user friendly.  If your looking at this on your computer screen, some of the old posts may look messy (well more messy than usual) but will be cleaned up when there is interest in that post.

A big thank you to Geoff at 1066 Internet  for setting it all up and to Justin for his constant help and for setting it up in the first place.

I always welcome any comments good or bad.

Happy searching!

Beano On The Sea – Hastings Pier 8th, 9th, 10th Sept 2017 – Black Grape, Echobelly, Lightning Seeds, Reef, The Bluetones, Cast, Dodgy, The Supernaturals, Space plus more



Tickets and more information…  or

Peter Fairless… Anyone going?

Chris Giles… I can’t afford to ….

Peter Fairless… They MAY do day tickets, if there is capacity left.

Chris Giles… see what happens hopefully they will….otherwise watch from the prom

Alan Esdaile… Might be able to listen from the prom (depending on the wind direction that day) Chris but expect the stage will be turned out towards the sea.

Sandra Bryant… You won’t see from the prom as all concerts face out to sea now


Stylus Records ad. 1973

supplied by Tony Pettifer

Jan Warren… Oh lovely – 1973, the year my eldest son was born at the old Buchanan Hospital, I was living in Middle Street, Hastings and my hubby Pete was still a DJ, at that time he had a permanent Saturday night gig at The Regent Hotel on Hastings seafront!! – btw, he still does the DJ thing, always has done – great memories, thank you !!

Gavin Hide… Was a fun place to work lol

Did Slade ever play Hastings Pier?

John Austin… Did Slade ever perform on the pier ?

Alan Esdaile… I’m pretty sure its a no John.

Peter Fairless… No, they didn’t, Alan

Malt Jones… Thats why it burnt down right?

Peter Fairless… Ha ha, nah, but ‘Flame’ is a great film!

Alan Esdaile… Interesting comment from Colin Bell on this. Apparently Slade were booked for the pier but was cancelled for some unknown reason. However this was the time when the Albert Memorial was burnt down and at some stage they thought this might have been burnt down by upset fans.

Peter Fairless… Might have been after Don’s accident?

Peter Thomson… I was in the town centre the night the memorial was alleged to have burnt down, indeed in the early hours when the fire supposedly started. There was no sign of anything happening as I recall and remarked later that the structure never showed any sign of burning. It never did ‘burn down’. I also believe the night/morning concerned was immediately after the ELO gig on the pier, which was superb. I was a Slade fan at the time and would have loved to see them on the pier also.

Chris Sambrook… No fires reported when Robin Trower or Thin Lizzy didn’t turn up to play on the Pier. Apparently Trower’s first album charted in America and he was whisked off to promote it, a good move for him he became very successful in the States . After that the nearest he played was Brighton Dome and Reading Festival which ain’t near Hastings Pier.

Adam West ‘Batman’ dies

photo: ABC Television 1967-1968

Jan Warren… NOOOOOOOOO, fucking NOOOOOOO, Adam West was the best Batman EVER and it was the best and only Batman series ….. it was fun and hilarious and my childhood and Adam West made it ! – oh god wham, Bam and god damn booty, god R.I.P Adam West, love you forever ♥

Mike O’Dowd… I agree Jan. He was THE ONLY Batman! R.I.P.

Jake Nelson… What a shame. When the series was first on, I used to wander round Bexhill with a black bat motif sewn on my T-shirt (designed by me). I’m sure all the fancy T-shirts you see nowadays are just copied from my idea!

Wendy Weaver… So many favourites dying, makes one realise how old one has become!💀💀😈